Natalie’s Wednesday in Comics 6/29/2016

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I only bought one new comic this week, Grayson Annual #3; and might I say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s a really fun one shot issue that takes place some time before the end of the Grayson series.  I’m a little puzzled as to why DC chose not to put out any Rebirth issues this week but who knows, right?  Since it was such a short week for me I hit the bargain boxes and picked up a few things there.

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Natalie’s Wednesday in Comics 6/1/2016

New Comics:

Sooo… I liked DC Rebirth #1 so much that I decided to try going back to weekly pulls for my comics.  I’m not sure how long it’ll last but I plan on getting all the Rebirth #1s anyway.  I don’t really plan on doing reviews for every single comic I purchase because I prefer to review whole storylines but I thought I might rank the comics I get every week in the order that I enjoyed them the most and maybe point out anything that really stuck out as noteworthy.

Natalie’s Comic Rankings for 6/1/2016:

  1. Superman Rebirth #1

  2. Green Arrow Rebirth #1

  3. Green Lanterns Rebirth #1

  4. Batman Rebirth #1

Ok, honestly I liked all of these books, but Superman sparked more of an emotional response than the other books.  Green Arrow was a really nice one-shot and could be understood and enjoyed by pretty much anyone.  I don’t know how or when the two new Green Lanterns came into play but I’m really interested to find out more.  The Batman book was good but I’ve read so many Batman stories it’s really hard to impress me with this character.

Back Issues:

I also picked up a few comics from the dollar boxes and a variant cover of Grayson #11 that I’ve been looking for.  I’m one of those people who are quite happy to pick up and read random comics without having any other comics in the run.  I mean sure I enjoy having the whole thing but it doesn’t bother me not to.  This habit seems to strangely bug other people.

The Brave and the Bold [1991] #1 & #2  of a six issue limited series featuring Green Arrow, The Butcher, and The Question.  Some of the stereotypes of Indigenous Native American Tribes were sort of cringe worthy.  It also had several scenes with Dinah Lance aka Black Canary back in the days when she had short black hair and worked at Sherwood Florist.

I’ve been thinking about getting the Convergence trades that have the side stories.  I got this Batman and the Outsiders one to sample and it looked promising.  I think the whole series had like 80 issues though, and even assuming I can get them for $1 each that’s a lot of back issues to track down and buy.

The Shadow of the Bat issues was decent but nothing to write home about.

Well, that was my Wednesday in comics.  Think I might try doing this every week.

Midnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

Midnighter, Vol. 1: OutMidnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Midnighter is an acquired character that DC got when Wildstorm became one of their imprints. Originally he was a member of a team called The Authority, and lived with his husband another hero named Apollo. In this rebooted version, he and Apollo are not together anymore and it isn’t clear if he was ever married to him or not. In fact this story sort of starts out with Apollo and Midnighter breaking up so that Midnighter can try to figure out who he is because of the things he’s gone through. This volume collects MIDNIGHTER #1-6.

If you are expecting Midnighters origin to be presented on a silver platter to you in this volume, you’re going to be disappointed. Details are scarce and you’ll have to infer much from reading between the lines with this one. You see Midnighter himself doesn’t even know and I think that this is the intent of the way it’s presented. You will need to go on the adventure with him and see if you can figure it out.

The highlight of the book for me of course was the crossover with Dick Grayson which worked out better than you might think considering that Midnighter is not the type of guy who abhors killing. The two of them met in the Grayson title and seem to play well off of each other.

Even though Midnighter broke up with Apollo he seems to be looking to find himself a new boyfriend.  It’s curious to think about it, because it isn’t really clear if he’s just looking for a sex partner or if he wants a deeper connection.  What’s really at the heart of his break up with Apollo?

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Midnighter rescued this little girl and took her home to her mother, so he’s not a complete sociopath I guess.

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Midnighter and Dick Grayson talking after Midnighter “abducts” him.

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I didn’t mention too much about the art in this volume but I liked it alright.  Here is a depiction of Midnighter processing information with his computer like brain.

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I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchage for feedback and a review.

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Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family BusinessBatgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The second volume of the relaunched Batgirl series contains BATGIRL #41-45, ANNUAL #3, and the Sneak Peek story from CONVERGENCE: INFINITY INC. #2. It’s all a bunch of uneventful guest appearances for the most part. I hated the two guest appearances by Dick Grayson which seemed to be out of character and stupid. The only overarching plot points I could detect were some very shallow and poorly executed side character romances.

To sum it up I’d call it mediocrity in pink. In my opinion you can skip this volume of Batgirl. It’s boring, banal, and trying to hard to be cutesy cutesy. Even the art was beginning to annoy me by the end of the book.

Jim Gordon is the first character to make a guest appearance in this volume of Batgirl. Here he is comming out to his daughter the he is the new Batman.  That look that Barbra has on her face in panel 6 pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole Gordan as Batman storyline.
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A lot of the book has scenes like this with Batgirl interacting with one of the many side characters.  It feels like she flirts with every guy in her social circle.

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This is the first time Dick Grayson makes an appearance in this volume.  He disguises himself and she doesn’t know it’s him.  Her eyeing his butt up as he’s leaving is I guess some sort of homage to Midnighter saying that he can identify him by his rear over in the main Grayson title.  The art here is less annoying looking than the other art in the book.

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Here’s another guest appearance this time by the girls from Gotham Academy.  I hate the way Batgirl looks here.  To me it’s like a deformed disney princess look.

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I obtained an advance readers digital copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read to Review program.

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Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At DawnGrayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have so much love for this volume of Grayson. I was a bit neutral on the first volume but I’ve really warmed up to the storyline and have gotten totally into it. I think I just needed a little time to adjust my mindset to this new take on the character. The story is exciting and fun. I didn’t even put it down, I just read it straight through. Volume 2 reprints GRAYSON #5-9, and GRAYSON ANNUAL #1.

The title of this volume is We All Die At Dawn, and pays homage to the classic Batman story Robin Dies At Dawn, originally published in Batman #156. This story is actually referenced in the first part of the book as Grayson recounts the events from his point of view. That issue of Batman is reprinted in Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told [ISBN# 978-0446391238] if you would like to track down the source material.

This story picks up where the first volume left off and continues the macabre organ hunt across the desert. Midnighter features prominently in these stories as well and there are some fun interactions between Dick and he. I know that Dick actually appears in the Midnighter series as well but that volume isn’t available yet so I’m not sure how interwoven those stories are, or if they even have anything to do with each other. Good to know though if you like this one.

The second part that takes place in Ireland, and I enjoyed the storytelling style that was implemented. I really thought it was fun. Tom King certainly depicted a version of Grayson that I felt was particularly keeping with his long and varied history. I was actually reminded of the often maligned and underappreciated Devin Grayson run on Gotham Knights and Nightwing. Mostly for the ambiguous sexuality that she sort of played on in her run.

The last part of the graphic novel seems to be setting up a new story arc. We also get to see the girls from the academy again.

And of course this volume also has great art in it. I especially enjoy the spiral motifs used some places, that give it that funky retro vibe. So when is volume three coming out anyway? I’m ready for it now!

Dick’s POV from Batman #156:

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I’m down with Tom King’s take on who Dick is.

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I’m still not crazy about Helena but she was less annoying in this volume, mostly because she wasn’t that important to the plot.

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They call me Rock, Rockin’ Rob… Tweet.  Tweet.  Tweet.

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And Grayson’s fanclub:

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I received an advance reader’s copy of this book through NetGalley’s read and review program; but I’ll be buying a copy of this one to keep ASAP.

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